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Do you prefer a family Hierarchy or Consensuality? Updated! - Page 43

Poll Results: Family Dynamics: Hierarchy or Consensuality?

 
  • 2% (17)
    Definite hierarchy with rules, strict structure; decisions made on behalf of children.
  • 29% (176)
    Hierarchy with guidelines, routine, soft structure; most decisions made for children.
  • 9% (56)
    Consensual family; decisions round table, children are self determining; few or no rules.
  • 10% (61)
    Mostly Consensual; guidelines, choice where possible, highly structured
  • 45% (277)
    Combo; children know their place in hierarchy but have as much freedom as poss within that structure
  • 2% (18)
    I don't know what you are talking about.
605 Total Votes  
post #841 of 1044
Quote:
I find this with my dc, too...when I use a must, or a "that's just how it is", they can often adjust quickly and find the win-win in what they initially thought was a lose-lose.
This makes me think of us in another sense too. When something has to be, i tell DD it has to be (of course whether or not it HAS to be because we are not trying to be CL as such, is sometimes my decision, and sometimes a fact of circumstance - i do try to be fair and to always listen and acknowledge her even if i cannot or will not then go on to agree with her) then i generally go on with life. If DD is very upset at the new fact i will stop and take time to talk to her a little, let her voice her emotions and give her the option of a cuddle - sometimes i will say "how can i help sugar?" and she will say "huggle me" or "i want cuddle lamb" (her bedtime soft toy friend) or "read me a story" and i always try to do so. However, once i have acknowledged her distress i tend to move things on, i will attempt distraction or change tone or subject to let her know that new things are happening now.

XP is different. He will basically keep on trying to comfort (which i think is great) or appease (which i really don't like) her for as long as she is upset and i have SEEN that something she'd have gotten over in 2 minutes with me (like the apple) can go on for close to an hour with him. I have seen her upset for so long she has forgotten why she is upset.

Now i'm not made of stone, i do try to temper the response to her emotions to the situation itself - we are still having daily debriefs about Saturday when she learned the terrible lesson that sometimes you drop your ice-cream. She had waied several days to be bought the ice cream and was really enjoying it when she dropped it, and i understand that she was really upset. But i know that something like the apple incident, which happens almost every day and is no big deal (she is alowed to have an apple whenever there are any and she wants one) her upset is definitely a knee-jerk and short-lived. But XP's over-validation seems to make her ham it up for a long time. She is greedy, demanding, cheeky and contrary with him, which she rarely is with me (a few moments in a day, rather than a few days in a week or every day as it can be for him).

From when she wasa tiny baby i have known she reflects my own emotions back at me and i suppose i feel that from her point of view whether or not she gets the apple is less important than whether my vibe tells her everything is ok with the world or not. She always cries more about injuries i'm worried about and yet is covered in grazes, bruises and marks which i didn't see her get and which i can see must have hurt but because i wasn't there to see them and sympathise she never even cried (i'm with her 24/6).

I really wonder if she doesn't mind sharing the apple because she senses from me that i find that to be the best outcome all around?
post #842 of 1044
its not a compromise if both people are happy. It's a solution. I mean, perhaps technically by definition its a compromise I am not sure, but if we all want and apple, and we are all okay splitting it, then to me that is a solution. A compromise would be "I'm willing to split the apple in half" a solution is "im happy to split the apple in halg. great idea" where you may do something different then initially planned, but you aren't sacraficing your happines with the solution.
post #843 of 1044
But that means that selfish people, who are never happy to share their apple, cannot be reasoned with, no? There is no solution then. Because SOMEONE isn't going to get any apple.
post #844 of 1044
Thread Starter 
Compromise can be seen as a middle way between two extremes or it can be seen as both sides making concessions. Depending how generous you're feeling on a given day.

I think when you find need to negotiate (when you must compromise? ) the fact is one or both of you are going to not get completely what you wanted to begin with. You can call it negotiating, a solution, compromise, agreement, alternative... whatever you like. It won't change that the original option has been removed or altered.

"All wants met" is false when there is only one apple and two people who want the whole apple. We can say two people want some apple, and two people got some apple. All wants met, hurray. But if two people want a whole apple, and there is only one apple, then only one person is going to have her desire met, unless one or both alter their desire.

Sure, it is a solution if I decide I'll have a banana instead. But it isn't "all wants met", cos I wanted the apple. I just changed my mind, I compromised. I wonder how you can come to a solution that doesn't involve compromise in a situation such as the apple.
post #845 of 1044
I dont think you *must* compromise.

Sometimes what I want changes, or what my child wants changes, and then all wants are met.

Other times, there is more going on then an apple, and so in that way we can meet everyone's needs/desires.

Again, I don't think there are times where you *must* compromise. There are times where you *can* though.
post #846 of 1044
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Sometimes what I want changes, or what my child wants changes, and then all wants are met.
Yes. Sometimes. I agree.
post #847 of 1044
Hey ladies, I'm signing off the thread. I've not been able to keep up for most of a week (some 200 posts).

I wanted to let you all know that my mom passed yesterday morning and it was lovely, actually. I'm so grateful we were (finally) home with our son there and with my with 96-year old grandfather (her father) there. It was so much more spacious and pleasant than the hospital. And more "real" than the artificial (and traumatic) environment of the hospital. The Hospice nurses helped my sister a lot, thankfully. And will continue to follow up with her afterward too.

And mom's best buddy, "K.C. dog" was with us at home. She had missed him greatly while in the hospital for the past two weeks. Both were delighted to be together. He lay at the doorway "guarding" it all the time, except when ds was playing fetch through the front of the house from hospital bed-foyer-family room, and in the big fenced back yard. He is a loud beagle dog. She *knew* he was there all the time. (so did the neighbors, lol)

Our son was so amazing about it all. And my grandfather really struggled, but he only found out she was ill on Saturday. He was there for her last breaths and so was her sister, who stayed for days and days at the hospital with us. Lovely. Perfect passing, all of us together. *sigh*.


You all copy this into your email archives and NEVER let them take me to the hospital!! I might haunt anyone who does. The medicalization of death (and birth) amazes me to this day!! I signed my living will AGAIN while she was in the hospital!! The nurses there were outstanding, provided tons of autonomy and honored mom's need for control. But, lord knows I never want to die there!! EVER. You all can sneak me out and bury me somewhere, OK? Only half-kidding!

So, I'm not going to be available in the short run and don't have the energy to debate CL. I trust everyone can carry on with the academic and practical discussion with the many voices of CL being valid and honored.


Pat
post #848 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Glue Mommy View Post
I remember my mom thinking of me as the difficult, contrary child. It was very hard to grow up with her keeping me in that role. I always wished she could just see me.
That's where your mom and I differ. The day I came to realize that Erica was a defiant, stubborn, strong willed child was the day that I started to really get to know her. It was the foundation that I could use so that I could parent her the way that her personality demanded. Otherwise I was banging my head against the wall trying to fit her square peg into the round hole of what the "experts" said was the typical child. She required an almost rigid schedule/routine/rhythm to her life. She needed a wall to push against, one that would give slowly as she matured. She needed rules so she could see where the world stood. Rules that she could rail against but rules that held firm so that she could feel in control. It was when she didn't know what was happening next or what was expected that she lost control and had a melt down. She didn't want to negotiate. She wanted to know that there were always going to be 2 choices, even when she didn't want those 2 choices. Too many choices meant chaos to her, not self determination. Meant that no one was in charge. Erica needed her parents to be in control so that she could learn to control herself.
post #849 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Glue Mommy View Post
I wasn't talking about Erica's experience. I was talking about mine.

I would not feel comfortable if my child grew up to think of themselves in that light. I can see him has determined instead of stubborn. I feel this will nourish the quality in apositive way so he can use it as something beeficial when he is older instead of as a personality trait to try to keep at bay.

I also know many children who were beat who have great surface relationships with their parents, and will claim their parents did right by them. That does not convince me to beat my own child. I also know many children (myself included) who tell their parents they did a gret job raising them, thank you, etc - we focus on the good because it would be too painful to accept anything else. So we internalize what our parents projected on us and begin to see ourselves in the same light. Then others see us that way too. This is how I have ended up in many bad relationships. My mom thought we had a great relationship and she did such a great job. It feels good to sometimes say she did, and I am who I am because of her, but more so because I try to avoid what she did, but the reality is she did not directly give me the tools I needed. She just gave me the drive to seek those tools out. I would hope my child would not stay with anyone who uses negative terms to describe their personality. Of course I want my children to think I did right by them (not just say it) but I also want to ACTUALLY do right by them. I don't want them to think it was right just because they trust I love them. I want them to be able to trust I love them, but if I went wrong somewhere along the way be able to admit that, instead of trying to accept it *must* have been right because they know I loved them.
But you see, that's just the point. We use the same words to describe a personality. You see those words as negative, both as the child and as the parent. Erica and I, as the child and parent, see those same words as positive. As an adult, that defiant, stubborn, strong willed nature of hers has become an asset.
post #850 of 1044
My condolences to you and your family. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
post #851 of 1044
Thread Starter 
We can learn to embrace our labels. But then we risk being limited by them. A shy person may not always be shy, a stubborn person may not always be stubborn... and so on. Sometimes we have no choice but to see the good in our labels because others simply won't let them go and psychologically, it is hard to bear being adversarial to it. We trust those who label us, so it feels incongruent when we don't like those labels. So we accept them. Eventually.

I am known as "irresponsible". Apparently, according to most who have known me long enough, I am the complete definition of the word and concept. During my twenties, I was exhausted by it so I chose to embrace it (only hindsight showed me exhaustion is what it was, at the time, I thought it was empowering choice). It was like a self fulfilling prophecy for me, like I was expected to be late, to not pay bills, to leave the place in a mess, to arrive at a party without anything because I forgot, or didn't have time... and so on.

For a decade or so, it was a joke, I enabled this joke and irresponsible became me. It was a part of who I was. Being irresponsible as a child was almost expected so it was only an apparent problem as I became an adult. At which point, I didn't know how to deal with it, so I embraced it. I used to say things like "if I leave my clothes on the floor long enough, they get washed". These things are because that's actually how it was for me. My family are very "there" for me and each other. But my parents did me a disservice, and I have already talked to them about this issue. I was given a choice, and children can choose the easy way, some of us.

My best friend from way back didn't have a mother like mine. She didn't pick up after her and she didn't give her such choice. She has always been an organised, responsible person compared to me, she stayed in jobs when they got tough, she remembered things,,, etc. She learned how. She didn't have it done for her.

Anyway, however I got to that point only half matters, the other half is, how am I going to get out of this? I don't WANT to be irresponsible. Even that word was rarely used anymore, it was just an undertone of expectation from others about me.

So I got angry at everyone, and told them to back off because I will not be limited by their labels and expectations. I was 30 years old when I started fighting back. Until that point, I really thought I liked the label, or at least wasn't bothered by it. They fought me for a while on it, saying that you don't get a reputation for no reason, if I want to be rid of a label, then I have to show it. I said there are two things wrong with that approach and one is, they won't SEE anything else in me if they are only seeing those things they are comfortable or used to seeing. I could be a model freakin' citizen for a decade but turn up late to an appointment one day and "oh, there she goes, ha ha ha, Janine and her cavalier attitude" (as though it's endearing, to take the sting out, I guess). So I refused to be the only one examining her baggage.

The second thing is, part of the reason I was behaving in such a way is because of all the energy being poured into the perpetuation of it.

Anyway, long story even longer, be careful not to be too quick to assume a person likes their labels. Even they may think they do. But in the end, labels don't help us grow, they keep us trapped in who we were, or actions we did, not necessarily actions we wish to repeat. If a person labels themselves, then help them see they can be other than that, with a simple choice. I just made a choice, it was that easy.

I am. That's all. That's it. I AM. I may act this way or that, I may act selflessly or selfishly. I may behave irrationally or reasonably. But I don't say "I am reasonable" or "I am irrational". Because I am not those thing, I am more than that. My daughter does anger sometimes, but she is not angry. She does stubbornness. But she is not stubborn. Separate the person from the action, I find that helps.
post #852 of 1044
Thread Starter 
Pat, I'm messaging you.
post #853 of 1044
So well put Calm, I really agree with you on that.
post #854 of 1044
Chris I understand that is what is true to you and was probably true to my mother as well. Perhaps it is true to Erica (only Erica knows without doubt) but it was not true for me. I won't speak for my mom, because I am not her. I understand if you feel comfortable speaking for yourself and your child. I am not speaking for you or your child or my mother. I am only speaking for me. My mom likes to speak for me and my siblings, and for a long time I used to like to agree with her, but it wasn't my truth, and she shouldn't have been speaking for me. Shes not me. She knows me well but no matter how attached one is to another they cannot ultimately be that person, and *know* with certainty if that other person feels the same as they do. Would you be willing to accept if your daughter one day left her SO because she didn't like being labeled that way and looked at in that light? Would you be willing to accept if she said "Mom, actually, those things really hurt me and I feel they are limiting me in life?" If so, then you are worlds away from my mother, who apparently thinks she knows me better then I know myself. To have a good relationship with her I would have to act the way Erica is acting with you. (For me its an act, for Erica it may be sincere - only Erica knows) Had my mom asked me 5 years ago I would have agreed with her, and said it was sincere, so really believe that only self can understand with certainty how they feel or think about a certain thing, and also that with time those thoughts and feelings can change as they finally start to have confidence *in that area* that they didn't have growing up because of their limits. For a long time it was easier to accept my moms labels for me and agree with her. I even convinced myself they were "good" but things changed, and when I let her know she wasn't willing to accept it. I imagine it would be hard for Erica to change her outlook because of what that would mean. Perhaps she truly doesn't need to. I also imagine how hard it must be for a parent to accept when that happens. To boot, my mom would probably say all the things you are saying Erica, even AFTER I have told her I don't feel that way, she would probably tell her "friends" that I agree even if I didn't. Obviously you are not like my mom in many many ways.
post #855 of 1044
I get what you are saying. I don't think that the cases are comparable. I always run into this problem when talking about Erica (or any of my kids for that matter but she's the one I end up talking about on parenting message boards). She is Erica, first, second, and last. She will always be Erica. Defiant, stubborn, strong willed, blond, blue eyed, short, smart, creative, helpful, generous, a loving wife, a great friend, a great mother, and a great daughter and sister are all just words to describe her.
post #856 of 1044
Yes. She is Erica. Not Chris. Not Me. Erica. Im not saying the cases are comparable. You must not have understood what I was saying. One day Erica may not like those labels you gave her. Or she may already not like them, but loves you and feels she will be accepted if she agrees with the labels you have given her.
post #857 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Glue Mommy View Post
Chris I understand that is what is true to you and was probably true to my mother as well. Perhaps it is true to Erica (only Erica knows without doubt) but it was not true for me. I won't speak for my mom, because I am not her. I understand if you feel comfortable speaking for yourself and your child. I am not speaking for you or your child or my mother. I am only speaking for me. My mom likes to speak for me and my siblings, and for a long time I used to like to agree with her, but it wasn't my truth, and she shouldn't have been speaking for me. Shes not me. She knows me well but no matter how attached one is to another they cannot ultimately be that person, and *know* with certainty if that other person feels the same as they do. Would you be willing to accept if your daughter one day left her SO because she didn't like being labeled that way and looked at in that light? Would you be willing to accept if she said "Mom, actually, those things really hurt me and I feel they are limiting me in life?" If so, then you are worlds away from my mother, who apparently thinks she knows me better then I know myself. To have a good relationship with her I would have to act the way Erica is acting with you. (For me its an act, for Erica it may be sincere - only Erica knows) Had my mom asked me 5 years ago I would have agreed with her, and said it was sincere, so really believe that only self can understand with certainty how they feel or think about a certain thing, and also that with time those thoughts and feelings can change as they finally start to have confidence *in that area* that they didn't have growing up because of their limits. For a long time it was easier to accept my moms labels for me and agree with her. I even convinced myself they were "good" but things changed, and when I let her know she wasn't willing to accept it. I imagine it would be hard for Erica to change her outlook because of what that would mean. Perhaps she truly doesn't need to. I also imagine how hard it must be for a parent to accept when that happens. To boot, my mom would probably say all the things you are saying Erica, even AFTER I have told her I don't feel that way, she would probably tell her "friends" that I agree even if I didn't. Obviously you are not like my mom in many many ways.
I think that we just have to differ as you can't be in on the conversations (the last one yesterday which prompted my posts last night) I have with Erica on her childhood. We do talk about it and she is not shy about airing her feelings and thoughts. We don't have the relationship that you and your mom have, either as the parent/child or now as adult/adult. All of what I have posted about Erica, her childhood, and our relationship comes from talking with her about it and getting her adult perspective on it. I have apologized as needed.
post #858 of 1044
I understand that. I dont think you understand what I am saying. Your relationship with Erica is obviously different then mine with my mom because you are two different people. I don't know Erica better then you do. But there is one person who knows Erica better then you do. Erica. And maybe at this time in her life she feels those terms describe her appropriately. Or maybe not. And maybe one day she wont appreciate those terms. Or maybe not. You sound like the kind of person who would be accepting if one day Erica let you know those terms are hurtful, which is good. At this time its possible (I know because I've been there, so while it may not be true for Erica it is still *possible*) that Erica is keeping connection and protecting herself by going along with you about those words( "defiant" "strong willed" etc.) Me personally, which is the only person *I* feel comfortably speaking for, I know that at one point in adulthood I thought the things my mom said about me was true because I trusted she loved me and I didn't see them negatively. That doesnt mean that those words prevented me from being my personal best. Once I realized this and was able to accept it I grew a lot more as a person. Would it have helped if my mom had freed me of those terms? Yes. You sound like you would be supportive of Erica freeing herself from those terms if one day she decides to do so. Some people never grow to that point though, because keeping the connection with their parent is too important, because admiting to *themselves* that their parents were wrong in some ways is too hard. Sounds like Erica has accepted that in some areas, but it doesnt mean she would be ready to accept them in all areas or ready to confront you in all areas because she confronted you in others. You speak for yourself and Erica. I am only speaking for myself. Sometimes I am very open and honest with my family on how I feel about certain things. In other areas I continue to just agree even if I dont, and perhaps there are even more areas where I am agreeing and believe I agree, but then as I grow more as a person I realize that believing what they say (agreeing) is a hindrance. Perhaps you feel calling a child defiant a good thing. Perhaps you see it as acceptable because your child as an adult verbally agrees with you and so does the person she chose as SO. Perhaps I have read too much on psychology and perhaps I play it too safe with my own children. Personally I would be concerned if my children used terms like that to define themselves. Perhaps my children will grow up to sing my praises to me but not really like what I have done for them. Perhaps the same is true for Erica. I just personally dont feel comfortable with taking your word for it when it comes to another person. I believe you know Erica better then me, but I don't believe you know Erica better then Erica. Sorry I do believe you know YOURSELF better then anyone else though, so I believe that all you have done is with best intents and all that you believe about your daughter is true to you.
post #859 of 1044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Glue Mommy View Post
Yes. She is Erica. Not Chris. Not Me. Erica. Im not saying the cases are comparable. You must not have understood what I was saying. One day Erica may not like those labels you gave her. Or she may already not like them, but loves you and feels she will be accepted if she agrees with the labels you have given her.
I understood that. What's not comparable is your relationship with your mother and my relationship with Erica. Erica is not hesitant to tell it like it is. That is also part of her personality. If she felt what you have posted on how you feel about your relationship with your mother and how she raised you, she would have no qualms about telling me in no uncertain terms. There would be no misunderstanding, twisting her words, or ignoring them. She would be very clear. If, in the future, Erica decides that she doesn't want to describe herself in those words, she will say so. And I will stop. I also will apologize for any hurt I've caused her by those words.
post #860 of 1044
I understand that. I would cry if my child told me they though defiance was part of their personality. Im not speaking of you and Erica. I am speaking of me. You know yourself better then anyone else. You know Erica better then I do. But you do not know Erica better then Erica. You know Erica is outspoken and you know everything Erica has ever told you. My mom would tell you the same about me. I am not comparing us, as Ive said it sound like your relationship is very different. I am only saying that My mom is my mom, you are you, I am me, and Erica is Erica. As long as Erica continues to agree with you on this subject, or at least say she does, then you can feel justified. I personally just could not feel comfortable with that. If it were me, which its not, I would get my child out of that "role". children tend to accept roles and bring them with them to adulthood. So what you say does not surprise me and what Erica has told you may be very true to her. I wouldn't brag about it though, Id get my child out of that role. but thats just *me*. you feel comfortable with it and so you feel comfortable thinking and describing her as the defiant contrary strong willed child.
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